Marcus and I have always made it a point to get out-of-town for our anniversary. Since it lands in March, we pushed back our celebration a few months last year and went out of town in July, given Grant was still a newborn. This year, we went ahead and celebrated a month after our actual anniversary in favor of warmer weather, perfectly suited for pool side relaxation!
We ended up in Orlando at the Marriott World Center. It is an amazing, resort style hotel with absolutely everything you could need. There really is no reason to even leave the hotel grounds since everything is on site – Starbucks, multiple different restaurants, a golf course, a spa, a ridiculous pool (with slides!), and of course, an awesome fitness center.
Aside from having one of the largest hotel fitness centers of any hotel I’ve stayed in, they also have a track that runs around the perimeter of the property (not including the golf course). I woke up Saturday morning and asked the concierge if he knew of a good place to run, and he pointed me to the track. It is a 1.5 mile loop, taking you throughout all parts of the resort. Per the concierge’s directions, I quickly found the beginning of the trail, and I was on my way!
I’ve probably stayed at 5 or 6 different hotels with distinct places for runners to get in a safe run, and I was definitely the most impressed with the Marriott’s attention to detail. Every quarter-mile, there was a mile marker so there was no question as to how far you had gone (I am pretty certain the last one was a bit off though!). There was also no guessing as to where the trail was. If there was a break in the sidewalk, there was always a sign to direct the runner, or even a mark on the pavement.
I thought I was going to get bored, given the distance was only 1.5 miles around, but it was actually perfect. Just long enough so you are not having to loop 5 or 6 times, but also short enough so you can easily get back to your room if needed. If you needed to, you could stop at any point and have direct access to get back into the hotel, which I thought was great. I will say, the only downer was there were no water fountains directly on the trail. You could access a fountain by going into the lobby or over by the pool since the trail goes by both places. However, it think it would be a nice addition to put something directly on the trail for those running.
I ended up running a total of 5 miles on the track and it went by in a flash! There was plenty to look at and the best part – it was extremely safe. There were no busy roads to cross and I never felt like I was coming up on any sort of area that was secluded or desolate.
After getting in my run, we ate breakfast, grabbed some coffee, and headed to the pool! All we really wanted out of the weekend was relaxation, and a day at the pool was the perfect prescription. Rain was forecasted for the afternoon, but the morning was perfect! We ended up hanging by the pool for 5 hours, which for me, is kind of crazy. We were right next to a big umbrella, so as soon as an hour went by, up it went!
I’m so thankful to have a place like Orlando so close to home. It’s just far enough to get out of Tampa, but close enough to get back to Grant in no time. Since Marcus and I both went to college in Orlando at UCF, it feels more like a staycation when we go back there. Usually, we don’t end up at Disney and just keep it low key – its a win win!